Monday, April 23, 2012

How Inviting...

Mr. B and I are hosting an engagement for some friends that just got engaged.  I wanted to make the invitations and started looking for inspiration.  I have seen a few diferent versions of these floating around the Web and decided I could create something just right...




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Philly Cheese Steak, sloppy joe style

I have to admit, I have a fondness for Sloppy Joes.  Mr. B however does not.  He's not a fan of savory foods that have any sort of sweet in them.  Last week when I saw THIS recipe over at Chef in Training, I had a sneaky suspicion that it would go over well at our house.  A Sloppy Joe style Philly Cheesesteak may be just the thing to win Mr. B over.  Turned out I was right.  It was rather tasty & took no time at all to prepare!  I used Jack Cheese for the cheese sauce, since it's what I had on hand, but I think I'll try something a little stronger next time. Maybe a sharp cheddar?  Mr. B loved it, so I think I'll keep it in my arsenal of quick weeknight dinners.  Give it a try & let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

From Chef in Training
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (I omitted - personal preference)
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
                 *See Optional Additions Below
4 dinner rolls
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone, shredded
In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and then brown the ground beef, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender. Stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and cook about 2 minutes.

*To the meat/sauce I added - about 2 tsp ketchup, 1 tsp soy sauce, a couple shakes of worshire sauce & a splash of beer.

Split open rolls and remove most of the soft insides, leaving a bed to hold the meat mixture. Toast the rolls and set aside.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir the cheese.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Carrot Cake w/ Buttermilk Glaze & Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

Don't be sad that this is a re-post, be glad that I've reminded you about it!

This is the perfect sweet treat to make for Easter, but honestly, a carrot cake this good should be made more than once a year! In fact, if you are a carrot cake fan, YOU MUST TRY THIS CAKE!!! Did you hear that, I'm not kidding, please you have no clue what you are missing... TRY THIS CAKE SOON!

I LOVE carrot cake. But you will almost never see me order it, because I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed with the outcome. Even I have screwed up a carrot cake or two. Oh I'll never forget the notorious two tiered carrot cake disaster that still gives me nightmares! I'll never live that one down. I swore I would never make another carrot cake again. Oh but that's a story for another day, this as a happy story, this is a story about the last carrot cake recipe you will ever need. This is the cake that your family will beg you to make. And now, I pass it on to you!  It may seem like a lot of steps go into this cake, but really it's oh so worth the effort.  You can even make it in advance.

PS... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT skip the GLAZE. It is what sets this cake above all the rest. You may think it will be fine without it... but you will be wrong. And come on, do you want a cake that is just "fine" or do you want a cake that is absolutely divine? Enjoy!

Carrot Cake w/ Buttermilk Glaze & Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil; dust w/ flour. Whisk first 4 ingredients into a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients. Fold in carrots, pineapple w/ juice, and pecans. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake for 30 minutes. Tent loosely with foil. Continue to bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 - 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Using bamboo skewer (or whatever), poke deep holes all over cake.
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbs light corn syrup
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Bring all ingredients but vanilla to boil in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until glaze is a deep amber color, whisking often, 4-5 minutes. Mixture will froth up and double in size before returning back to syrup like state. Remove from heat; add vanilla.

Spoon hot glaze evenly over warm cake. Cool cake completely in pan.

*Note: When boiling the glaze watch it carefully! It will boil over if you walk away and it will make a mess all over your stove! It’s not easy to clean, I learned this the hard way!

1½ 8-oz packages cream cheese
½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1-lb box powdered sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until well blended. Spread frosting over cooled cake in pan. Cake can be made one day in advance, just cover and chill.